Hearing Aide: Hands Like Houses “Dissonants”

Australian rock band, Hands Like Houses, will be releasing their third studio album Feb. 26. Trenton Woodlley, Matt Cooper, Alex Pearson, Joel Tyrrell and Matt Parkitny entered the studio in March for the first time since the release of Reimagine in 2014. Dissonants will be released on Rise records.

Frontman Trenton Woodlley addressed the band’s relief and excitement to end their fans wait:

We’re feeling a powerful mix of relief and excitement in finally releasing Dissonants. We knew from pretty early on that this album would make us or it would break us — and it nearly did. But we were honest with ourselves, each other and most importantly, the music, adopting the mantra, ‘It’s better to get this right, than to just get it done.’ And we’re proud to finally say that we’ve done both.”

The band released a teaser from the album in March 2015. “I Am” is the first single from Dissonants and also the first track on the record. The entry into this song reminds me of the opening credits of a romantic comedy from the ’90s; it seems light and fun. The feeling lasts for about 10 seconds and then we realize, these guys are for real. The deeper I fell into this track, I realized their are many levels to this song, and so many different elements to love. The slow build up in instrumentals to the chorus grabs the listener’s attention as if to say, “you better be ready for what happens next.” In the bridge, Trenton sings, “I will melt into a choir of angels,” and for a brief moment we hear a choir singing with him. It is the smallest detail but was perfect and chilling. I found myself wondering what was going to happen next and loving every minute of it. This is the song that introduced me to Hands like Houses, and the song that made me a fan.

“Colourblind” is the most recently released single from the album. The beat of this track may seem more upbeat than the previous songs on the album. However, the song holds a very deep meaning. It is a song that separates these rock musicians from the pretty pop princesses of this generation. It is a song with soul. The band described “Colourblind” on their Facebook page:

(The song is) about our cultural obsession with binary ideas — we are black or white, right or wrong. We’re so caught up, we forget that we live in a world of color.”

Hands Like Houses took a different approach with “Momentary” and “Division Symbols,” allowing the tracks to stand out. I fell in love with the way “Division Symbols” enters with a piano and continues the riff throughout the song. The tenderness of the piano allowed me to feel an emotional pull towards the song before even hearing the lyrics. Using a similar soft approach, the beginning verse of “Momentary” is quiet and gentle. And then suddenly the song bursts into the chorus.

Dissonants is an excellent display of the passion that separates the good artists from the great ones. Each track contrasts well with the previous one to make listening to this album a rush of emotional highs and lows. The lyrics blend with the instrumentals perfectly to prove every moment was choreographed and not just thrown together. I believe fans of Hands Like Houses will find this album worth the wait.

The album is available to pre-order on iTunes.

Key Tracks: “I Am,” “Colourblind,” “Division Symbols,” “Degrees of Separation”